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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Porch on lintels.jpg

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This picture shows about 1.5 tons of masonry sitting on the center of the spans of a series of concrete masonry lintels all layed on their sides. If the masonry itself were bearing on the piers, it might have a prayer. As it is now, it's destined to fail.

Concrete masonry lintels are actually cast with a crown in them and intended to be set crown up similar to a floor joist. That is why they have a clearly marked "Top". Each 4 x 8 lintel has typically two #3 or #4 reinforcement rods in it, one to prevent compression and one to prevent expansion. The inner lintels especially are carrying unbelievable weight all concentrated on simply an edge of the side of the lintel. The more you stare at this picture and apply the weight, the worse it gets!

When these units are layed on thier side like this they are useless. The only thing holding most of this porch up are single reinforcement rods and cement with course aggregate about the size of bbs! When the lintels finally crack only the rods will prevent the porch from sinking out of sight, but it will definitely rotate and settle! It's just a matter of time.

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Yeah, that's a mess. And another thing.....

What's the deal w/all these "brick porch stairs" I've been seeing the last couple years? Damn things go to blazes w/freeze-thaw up here @ the 42nd parallel. When did this find it's way into the builder's vocabulary?

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Ok, Bill. You made me bust out laughing. I wasn't going to go there... but you hit the nail on the head. Can you say, "Cima"? But, where is the superintendant and the county building department? Why am I the first to make an issue of this? The house next door has the same setup.

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Originally posted by mgbinspect

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Porch on lintels.jpg

615.69 KB

This picture shows about 1.5 tons of masonry sitting on the center of the spans of a series of concrete masonry lintels all layed on their sides. If the masonry itself were bearing on the piers, it might have a prayer. As it is now, it's destined to fail.

Concrete masonry lintels are actually cast with a crown in them and intended to be set crown up similar to a floor joist. That is why they have a clearly marked "Top". Each 4 x 8 lintel has typically two #3 or #4 reinforcement rods in it, one to prevent compression and one to prevent expansion. The inner lintels especially are carrying unbelievable weight all concentrated on simply an edge of the side of the lintel. The more you stare at this picture and apply the weight, the worse it gets!

When these units are layed on thier side like this they are useless. The only thing holding most of this porch up are single reinforcement rods and cement with course aggregate! When the lintels finally crack only the rods will prefent the porch from sinking out of sight, but it will definitely rotate and settle! It's just a matter of time.

Thank you. Good pictures and explanation of the problem. Learn something new everyday.

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Amazing! When I was in masonry and still a member of the BIA, there was a real concern throughout the trade because the everage age of the mson in america was 55! That was around 1978. During all the years I was in masonry, I only met two foreigners, one from Britain and the mason from Holland that trained me. When I worked with large firms (150 employees) that average age rule appeared to be true. Very few young men were entering the trade.

The only reason I left the trade, I was surrounded by masons that physically needed to quit, but financially could not afford to! So, I moved into sales and estimating and began the long journey to here.

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  • 9 months later...

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